Full Opening of Schools – Letter and Guide for Parents

Please click the links below to download the open letter from Councillor Jonathan Price and Dr Richard Harling that provides a simple 10-step guide to help parents make sense of the guidelines relating to symptoms, positive cases, testing and isolation. Also a two-page guide, which advises parents when pupils should stay at home or go back to school.do not wish to work with the Local Authority you can ask the DFE line for advice and support where you have a confirmed case in your setting (i.e., positive tests only).

Covid-19 Operational Plan – Information for Parents: September

Dear Parents & Carers,

I hope you have all had a lovely summer holiday.

We are very much looking forward to welcoming all our children back to school next week and have been busy making preparations for their return. Please see the summary below which was sent to you at the end of term and has been updated to reflect current Government guidance.

Information for Parents/ Government support – please see the following links which the Government has provided to support Parents in preparing their child for the return to school:

DfE Reassurance Leaflets

Hutchinson Memorial – Covid-19 Risk-Assessment v7

Discussions with children – Staff will be talking to the children and both reminding them of our new ways of working and expectations and reassuring them about things. We are very mindful that this situation is scary enough as an adult, never mind as a child! Although the Government have been clear that social distancing in schools is NOT realistic, particularly amongst very young children, we have instead put a hierarchy of strategies in place to avoid children sharing their space with too many others. We will keep children in their class ‘bubble’ throughout the day. In Years 1 – 4, children will sit at their desk – 2 children per desk seated side by side. We will try to avoid face to face working. Children will be asked to, and reminded to, wash hands as soon as they arrive in their classroom, before and after break time and lunch time and before they go home as a minimum. We have suitable handwash facilities, and hand sanitiser is available in all classrooms. The ‘catch it bin it kill it’ practice will be reinforced regularly. Tissues are located in each classroom and throughout the school. Foot-operated bins are located in each classroom and at frequent intervals throughout the school. Bins are double-bagged and emptied at the end of each day.

Staggered start and end of the day times – In order to minimise the numbers of families on the school site at any one time we have had to stagger the start and end of the school day:

  • Owls Monday-Thursday 8.30am – 3.00pm; Friday 8.30am – 12.30
  • Hedgehogs Monday-Thursday 8.45am – 3.15pm; Friday 8.45am – 12.45pm
  • Badgers Monday-Thursday 9.00am – 3.30pm; Friday 9.00am – 1.00pm

Parents must adhere to their allocated arrival and pick up time, especially as the bubbles have now increased in size – up to 30 children in each bubble.

A member of staff will be outside the pupil entrance on arrival. If your child is very reluctant at coming back we are obviously not allowed to come and get them off you as we would normally. If this is the case, please take some time away from the entrance to re-assure them and then join the next bubble’s start time. Children will go straight to their ‘bubble’ room. Hands will be washed/sanitised as they arrive and leave.

Drop off and pick up – When you arrive and leave the school site please remember to keep 2 metres away from any other family at all times. When you drop off please do not enter the school site but allow your child to come through the entrance on their own. Please avoid crowding around the gate as this is then unsafe for the next children arriving. Please respect the distance markings in front of the entrance and not step forward of these.

Signage – Additional posters will be up around school to remind everyone about the important measures such as social distancing, ‘catch it, bin it, kill it,’ washing hands etc. Children will be talked to, reminded and encouraged to follow the new rules in school to keep everyone safe. They will be encouraged to understand why things are different and how we can help everyone to stay safe.

Staffing – Each bubble will be staffed by their teacher. Owls will have 2 teachers – Mrs Owen and Miss Johnson Monday – Wednesday and Miss Johnson Thursday & Friday. Hedgehogs will be taught by the class teacher Mrs Manlove and supported by Mrs Horleston. Mr Burnett will teaching Badgers. Mrs Horleston will supervise each bubble’s lunchtime break outside.

Classrooms – Each bubble will be a maximum of 30 children (their class). Each child will have their own ‘work station,’ which will include their own key equipment such as stationery in their own tray. Any non-essential furniture or resources will be removed from classrooms. Any additional resources used will be cleaned down at the end of each day. Classroom doors and windows will be opened at all times to stop the children having to touch them to open them and allow for adequate ventilation. Children will use paper towels/disposable tissues for drying hands and sneezes and we will reinforce the ‘catch it, bin it, kill it’ practice. The number of children allowed in the toilet at a time will be limited. In the KS 1 toilet, there are 2 toilets – each have been labelled with a hedgehog or an owl to prevent toilets being shared between 2 bubbles.

This week children just need to bring in a coat, a PE Kit, a water bottle and a packed lunch if they are not having a school lunch. Any medication must be placed in a clear plastic bag, labelled and accompanied by a medication form. These can be placed in the box outside the pupil entrance. This includes inhalers.

The curriculum: our first and main priority is to keep children safe and help them adjust to returning to school. Many will be anxious and worried about coming back to school. Our primary focus will be on addressing any anxieties and children’s mental and physical wellbeing.

  • We will use the first few weeks to assess children’s learning in the key areas of reading, writing and mathematics. This will inform our planning for the terms ahead and how we can effectively close gaps in their learning.
  • Activities involving singing and the playing of musical instruments will not take place as per Government guidance on the prevention of transmission of Covid-19.

Break times – Break times and lunchtimes will be staggered to avoid the cross over of the bubbles during the school day.

Lunchtimes – Children will be eating their lunches in the classrooms to avoid large gatherings in the hall. For those who have school dinners we have therefore opted for a picnic option which will be delivered to the classrooms by staff. Children will be able to order in the morning which picnic option they would prefer. A menu is attached. Teaching staff will clean the desks prior to lunch and children will wash their hands before and after eating. Payment will be via School Money as normal.
Snack will start next week – please do not send your child in to school with any money. Snack will be payable via SchoolMoney (details to be sent later this week).

Uniform – Children need to attend wearing school uniform. Clothing must be freshly laundered and clean clothes worn each day. The ‘jumper boxes’ have been removed. All children’s items will be stay at their desk/chair. A PE kit will be needed and once worn for physical activity will be sent home to be washed and then returned to school ready for the next PE session.

Cleaning – Each classroom will contain a ‘Covid 19 cleaning box’ (kept out of the way of children) which will be stocked each day and will contain – suitable handwash, hand sanitizer, paper towels, paper face masks, disposable gloves, a disposable apron, detergent spray and disposable cleaning cloths. There is a daily cleaning routine of all areas of the school. A deeper clean of the school will take place on Friday afternoon when school will close at 12.30pm. Each day, additional cleaning of the toilets will take place at 12.30pm.

PPE – The Government has advised that no PPE for teachers is required, except for when dealing with a child who is ill or needing personal/intimate care. However, we are putting into place a range of options for staff. All staff will be provided with a visor, disposable gloves, disposable aprons and anti-viral spray for surfaces as well as cleaning solutions. Tissues, anti-bacterial sanitiser, and close access to a bin will be available in all areas of the school. Children should not wear PPE to school.

Bringing things from home – In order to reduce any possible cross contamination we ask that your child ONLY BRING a named water bottle, a packed lunch (if they are not having a school packed lunch), their PE kit and any medication (such as an inhaler). Please ensure you wash the lunchbox each night. If it is a particularly hot day please apply 24 hour sun lotion before school. Please do not send your child with toys or unnecessary items from home.

School bags – each class has limited space, therefore, class teachers will inform you of their own procedures regarding school bags. No school bags are needed for this week.

School office – Parents will be asked not to visit the Office in person but to maintain communication with us via email. If it is essential to come into school, please email/telephone to make an appointment. Only 1 person allowed in Reception at a time. Visitors to school will be expected to wear a face mask/covering.

Happy Hours –normal provision will continue from September. They will also provide child care on a Friday afternoon if needed when school closes early.

Procedure to follow if your child is ill and who to inform – If your child is ill, please notify us of the details on 01538 722385 or office@hutchinson.staffs.sch.uk

If your child shows any symptoms of COVID-19 i.e. a new and persistent cough and/or high temperature, and or loss of taste or smell, your child must be kept at home to self-isolate for ten days from when their symptoms started, and for longer if the symptoms persist. If a member of your family, living in the same household as the child(ren), is showing symptoms and following guidance has been forced to self-isolate, you will need to keep your child at home for 14 days. Please let us know if a member of your family does test positive for COVID-19. All staff and students who are attending an education or childcare setting will have access to a test if they display symptoms of coronavirus, and are encouraged to get tested in this scenario. Where the child tests negative, they can return to their setting and the fellow household members can end their self-isolation. Where the child tests positive please notify us immediately so that we can take further measures as necessary. If you need to book a test you can do so by clicking this link , We will then follow procedures as set out in the local ‘test, track and trace’ system.

If your child is sent home from school with any illness, we ask that they are kept at home for at least 48 hours to allow their symptoms to be monitored. If after 48 hours they are well, they may return to school.

After school clubs will hopefully resume later on in the academic year (possibly Spring Term).

Music tuition paid by Parents and delivered by Entrust Music Services will unfortunately not continue next academic year. The school has had to subsidise this provision by £1,000 this year due to a shortfall in income from parents: this is partly Covid-related but also due to some children dropping out during the year and we had to then continue to pay for the service up until the end of this term.

Online learning will continue in respect of homework: this will be via Seesaw (or an alternative platform if needed); any bubble which has to be sent home to self-isolate will continue their learning at home.

If you have any questions on any of the points raised above please do not hesitate to get in touch on headteacher@hutchinson.staffs.sch.uk
or office@hutchinson.staffs.sch.uk

We thank you for your understanding and co-operation.

With very best wishes,

Paula Snee